Rep. Steve King was in Virginia Monday, criticizing his own Republican leaders for their plans to allow an immigration reform vote, which he says would "benefit the elitists" and "political brokers" of the Democratic Party, not to mention the "employers of illegals."
According to The Hill
, the Iowa congressman, who recently described young illegal immigrants as essentially drug mules, spoke to a small crowd of about 60 people in House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's home district of Richmond. King maintained his position against any bill that would set out a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, claiming it would be tantamount to granting them amnesty.
The views he expressed were in direct opposition to those of Cantor, who has been pushing a reform measure aimed at providing some kind of legalization process of undocumented immigrants, particularly children who were brought here by their parents.
In his nearly half-hour speech, King also raised the specter of increased crime as one reason to reject immigration reform. According to Politico
, he claimed that some Latin American societies tend to be more violent.
"Now think what that is. If you bring people from a violent civilization into a less-violent civilization, you're going to have more violence, right?" he said. "It's like pouring hot water into cold water, does it raise the temperature or not?"
According to the Hill, the choice of the event location in Richmond was no accident. Event coordinator, Roy Beck of NumbersUSA, told the newspaper the King rally spot on Cantor's home turf was picked because the GOP leadership needed to hear from "wage earners" who Beck said would be harmed by comprehensive immigration reform.
Republican leaders have harshly criticized King for his recent comments on young illegal immigrants, which included his view that for every "valedictorian" born to illegal immigrants "another 100" entered the country by "hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
House Speaker John Boehner
recently observed that what King says "does not reflect the values of the American people or the Republican Party." Cantor has also criticized the Iowan.
Despite showing up on Cantor's home ground, King told Politico in an interview that he was not trying to deliver any specific message to the House Republican leadership. But he said he believes that many of his fellow Republicans “have had a spell cast over them” since last year's elections because of the beating the party took from Hispanic voters.
“A year ago, almost everybody in my conference agreed with me,” King said. “There’s been no spell cast over me. “
King's Richmond appearance was part of a "Stop Amnesty Tour" organized by NumbersUSA, the Tea Party Patriots, the Eagle Forum, and other groups that favor tougher immigration restrictions.
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